Facility management experts have called on the government to embrace and encourage maintenance culture in the country.
The experts, who spoke during the commemoration of the 2017 World Facility Management Day organised by the International Facility Management Association, Nigeria Chapter, noted that many of the nation’s infrastructure were in a deplorable state.
Nollywood actress, Joke Silva, who was one of the panellists at the event, said the government had continued to invest in infrastructure without putting adequate maintenance plan in place for them.
“Look at the National Arts Theatre for instance, 40 years after it was built, we can hardly do anything there. No matter the structure we build, if we do not maintain the ones we have, they will run down. We must realise that the maintenance of infrastructure speaks a lot about a people,” she said.
Silva added that the government must stop playing politics with the nation’s infrastructure.
The Chief Executive Officer, Planet Projects, Mr. Biodun Otunola, said the country had so much potential but lacked a maintenance culture, adding that every facility in the country deserved proper management.
“Why do we spend so much on building these facilities and cannot spend 0.001 per cent on managing them? We have the capacity to replicate every standard elsewhere in the world here in Nigeria,” he said.
Otunola, whose company is in charge of the multi-storey bus terminal in Oshodi, Lagos, said Nigerian professionals had a lot of ideas that could transform the country but needed the right environment to flourish.
“Foreign investors have no interest of the country at heart and we can’t solve Nigeria’s problems by focusing on the elite. Our future lies in developing our own champions,” he said.
He added that the government should develop public transportation by investing more in mass transit.
“All the airports in Nigeria process less than 35,000 people every day and we spend over N200bn annually for maintenance and the motor parks process more than 50,000 people, yet we spend nothing on them,” he said.
He also urged Nigerian professionals to take their place in the maintenance of infrastructure rather than sit back and watch foreigners take up all the projects without adequate supervision.
According to the President, IFMA Nigeria, Mr. Pius Iwundu, the theme of the 2017 World FM Day, ‘Enabling positive experiences’ emphasizes facilities management’s significant role in setting and managing the scene for and delivering exceptional customer experiences worldwide across multiple sectors.
The immediate past President of the chapter, Ms. Iyabo Aboaba, said the attitude to maintenance culture in the country should be changed.
“We need to get this country moving, our maintenance culture is very bad,” she added.